I never thought I’d be enjoying Excel on a Sunday morning…. There’s something about this simple metered task that gives comfort, routine, a focus. I flip through sheets and documents tracking down values and checking them to see if I’ve made an error. Verify. Question. Explore. Try again. Reconsider.
I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster this week, since Ha and I decided to terminate our relationship. Perhaps, the simplicity of these calculations is what I find most pleasurable.
I wonder how this next week will be. I have a day doing fashion photography with Plota Productions tomorrow and Soupstock with lots of friends to look forward to at the end of it. I’m likely to be over the flu by then, too.
I don’t wish to mislead. I am glad I feel. I am so damn grateful for the sensitivity and vulnerability I have chosen. There was a whole period in my teens and twenties where I endeavored to not feel, to not care. I wanted to be numb to everything. I didn’t want to get hurt. I think I thought that if I gave myself over to grief or anger, that it would destroy me, that it would tinder a fire that never stopped. I have since realized that when you stop emotion it stops inside you. You have no way to hold it outside your being. Slowly, it chokes you from the inside binding each movement.
The other side of choking back on emotions is that I didn’t get to love as deeply or as fully. I didn’t have many friends that I love and trust like I do now. When you wreck your conceptions upon a heartbreak, you see who rallies and who runs. Over this past week, I see the life I built by opening up and being present and fully engaged, by letting myself love and letting myself care. From family and friends calling to check on me. Sending me supporting texts. Calling me out when I get out of integrity with what I believe, to simply meeting me for drinks and mischief out on the town. And, when a friend will get out of bed with their partner at one in the morning to come hold you while you bawl, deep gut-wrenching pain, it really puts the level of that relationship in perspective. I might be intensely grieving this relationship, all I hoped for and dreamed of that is not to be; but I am getting to see how tight I wove the threads of this community that surrounds me.
I’ve been in some pretty intense conversations surrounding this concept with a few people this week. The ideas seem to center around a couple ideas.
First, there is the idea of scarcity as value. I know economists will disagree with me, and if we were talking about a commodity like platinum or pork bellies, then they’d be right. However, Love is not a commodity.
I went to a blind wine tasting a few years back. Normally at these things, you guess the varietal and make stabs at the vintner and year. It’s an opportunity for wine snobs to show off their prowess. I’m rubbish at it. This particular tasting was different. We were to guess the price of the bottle. In the line up, there were bottles from three dollars to over a hundred.
After a lot was drunk with lots of posturing and rationalization (I am good at that) , the bags came off and it turns out the bottle everyone agreed was a very high quality wine?.. $9 bucks.
My point is rarity and exclusiveness do not necessarily make something better.
Sticking with the wine analogy is another point. I think there’s a common perspective that you have a limited amount of love to give. That if you share out your particular “bottle” with just anyone then there won’t be enough to go around.
I don’t buy it.
Love is a muscle. The more you use it, the more you try to work it, the stronger it is and the more capable it is.
A couple years ago in a former relationship, we decided to open it up a bit. While I barely capitalized on the sexual freedom my open relationship afforded me, I took the emotional latitude and ran free. Suddenly, if I was crushing or feeling passion for someone, I let myself feel. Feel it strongly let it flow. I’d say it and tell people how fabulous I thought they were. I’d tell them just how amazing they were to me. I opened to the idea that everyone I met could be my next best friend or my beloved…
Certainly some people didn’t meet me on that same playing field. But the incredible thing about people is when you set them up for success with you right from the start, they really put their best forward. And the relationships I had? They deepened and grew stronger.
Suddenly, I was meeting so many wildly different fascinating people. I hadn’t hit some mythical vein diamonds in the coal of humanity. I had revised my perspective and seeing the value to so much more than before.
So in the end, I guess it’s safe to say, I choose all of this: the joy, the pain, the sweetness, the questioning, and even the anger.
It is so wonderful to be alive and to love.